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Stick Your Pins In The Effigy.

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Klaus was a popular member of the academy in its prime, but not everyone was so keen on his abilities. Many called it a dishonour to the dead, a blasphemous attempt at integration into what they labelled “the dark arts”. He never seemed to care about their complaints, nor their threats of hexes and spells to ruin him; nothing ever came from it, it was if he were immune to their attempts.

That was until May 16th 2009, 18 and just a year out of the academy, Klaus had taken to using his powers (begrudgingly) to earn some spare money on the streets, scamming buyers into believing he would pass on their messages to the dead (which he rarely ever did.) People could call bullshit as much as they liked, they always came back for more but after that day, something strange started to occur within his body. It started with a few aches and pains but this wasn’t exactly a new experience to Klaus, being without drugs for a few hours gave him pain. Yet, over time he began to feel as if his insides were on fire, like every organ was being glued together and squeezed to their wits end. Perhaps just a bad illness?

Shortly after he came down with his sickness, he received a message in his usual spot off his favourite street corner - “Stop now or the hex will get worse.” Just another empty threat, he wasn’t going to give up making decent money because one random person didn’t like it.

It wasn’t long until his body was littered with stitch scars, trailing around every joint in his body from his neck and shoulders to his knees and feet. The pain lingered for days, creating painful aches every time he dared to move. It was as if whenever he stretched out, the invisible stitches in his skin would rip, spilling nothing but painful agony onto the floors, only to be repeated with each movement. If the skin-tight aches were not enough, the stabbing pains only made it worse. Deep cold spikes of agony quickly turning to hot scalding burns within his body. They never lasted long enough to leave an aftershock, but they were consistent, each time a different place; places he never thought he could experience such pain.

It was worth than death, at least he imagined. If half of the ghosts he encountered dealt with even a fraction of such pain, he could understand their anger and fear. With strength he managed to carry on his practice, gaining sympathetic looks from customers until they noticed the scars trailing his wrists, shoulders and other exposed body parts. Slowly his base started to get smaller, everyone knows not to mess with the cursed, to get on the wrong side of the inflictors was asking for trouble. The hex was strengthening, sticking pins into the effigy that was Klaus’s body.

There were never any physical injuries, no blood or wounds, just faint scars where the pain had been inflicted. It was torturous, a never-ending pain that would never kill him but make him suffer. Make him live in an endless cycle of pain and despair until he was mercifully granted freedom. Maybe one day the inflictor would grow tired of his effigy, throwing it aside and cutting the strings bounding him to his suffering. That day was never guaranteed, even with the prayers for release. Instead, he was tied to an infinity of inflicted pain, a consequence for messing with that he shouldn’t.